SHLOMI NAHUMSON at the White House..
(photo credit: IDFWO)
A representative of the Israel Defense Forces Widows and Orphans Organization (IDFWO) was invited for a special briefing at the White House on Tuesday alongside representatives from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), its US counterpart.
The two groups were invited as part of a briefing for the Joining Forces Initiative, established by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support veterans and their families.
Shlomi Nahumson, IDFWO’s youth director, was asked to explain the specific challenges faced by the families of Israel’s fallen soldiers and the activities of the IDFWO to assist and comfort them.
The IDFWO has established a close relationship with TAPS in recent years, running a range of programs and therapeutic meetings together.
“The IDFWO is proud of our collaboration with TAPS,” Nahumson said. “Many of our youth have built lifelong bonds with their American counterparts.”
“Together we can improve the lives of the families of our fallen heroes in America and Israel, learning from shared experience and praying for a peaceful future for both great nations,” he said.
Dr. Lynda Davis, TAPS executive vice president, said her organization is “proud” to collaborate with the IDFWO.
“Grief is a universal language,” she said. “It means so much for our surviving military families to share their grief journey with those family members who are from allied countries.”
The meeting comes on the heels of IDFWO’s annual tour of North America, which offered 25 teenage children of fallen soldiers, who recently celebrated their bar and bat mitzva, the opportunity to travel to Canada and the US.
In addition, TAPS and IDFWO have held joint programs in Israel and the United States, where surviving military families from each country have come together to share their grief.